'That in future times they will know our suffering for the love of God...:’ Jeanne de Jussie's Petite Chronique and the creation of convent identity

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EMF 11 brings together contributions by eleven historians and literary specialists who explore how sixteenth and seventeenth-century nuns gave voice to the incessant interchange between their convents and the world they had supposedly renounced. The authors examine particularly dramatic or unique genres of convent writing, such as chronicles, legal documents and even a marriage manual; they show how seemingly routine texts - such as poems, death notices, and constitutions - point to deep tensions within the religious life. While a few contributions illustrate how nuns sometimes modified their writings, or even ceased at the command of male directors, the majority of articles show women religious reaching beyond the requirement of submission to promote their own vision of spirituality and their community's independence. For example, contributors trace how nuns pursued their own agenda when confronted by Protestant reformers who sought to close their monastery, by exorcists who accused them of being possessed, and by kings who attempted to impose unwelcome abbesses. The volume opens with an état présent of French convent writing which surveys the considerable recent commentary on early modern nuns, much of it by historians, and argues that literary scholars should examine the corpus of convent writing more closely. It concludes with a checklist of the published texts of over 175 Ancien Régime nuns.


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Series: EMF: Studies in Early Modern France 11